Marketing Approval Software: Essential Questions to Ask Before Investing
By Jodie Byass
Marketing teams today are faced with an ever-increasing volume of tasks that require careful management. One tool that has become increasingly popular among creative teams is marketing approval software. With the help of marketing approval software, teams can easily manage their marketing workflow, which leads to greater efficiency, increased compliance and more effective marketing campaigns.
However, selecting the right marketing approval software can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which software is the right fit for your marketing teams and business's unique needs. To help you with your selection process, here are ten questions to consider when selecting marketing approval software.
1. What are your objectives?
It is essential to define your specific objectives when selecting an online approval solution. What do you want the software to achieve for your marketing team? Do you need to automate the approval process to save time and reduce manual errors? Are you looking for inbuilt proofing tools to decrease artwork revision counts? Perhaps you require a digital asset library to ensure final files are easily located. By identifying your objectives and documenting your requirements, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right marketing approval workflow tool.
2. Is the tool configurable?
Configurability is a crucial feature to consider when investing in marketing approval workflow software. Do you need the ability to set up unique or tiered approval pathways? For example, does Legal need the option to reserve a job to prevent doubling up on work? Do you want your clients or stakeholders to be able to proof two artwork versions on-screen simultaneously? Having a configurable tool can save your team time and effort by streamlining your specific workflows.
3. Does the system manage all file types?
Today, ad agencies and marketers work across various media platforms. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the approval workflow software you select can manage all the different file types you work with every day. This can include everything from image files to video, text based documents and websites. By ensuring that the system can manage all file types, you can avoid the headache of having to switch between different systems and tools to manage your approval workflow.
4. How easy is the system to use?
A user-friendly dashboard can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of approval workflow software. While it may seem obvious that you want greater ease in your workday, it's essential to ensure that the system you select is easy to navigate and provides a clear summary of all work in progress. Can you skip steps for urgent jobs that need to be attended to as soon as possible? Can you generate a work in progress (WIP) report in just seconds? These are important factors to consider to ensure your team's productivity is maximized.
5. Can the system evolve with your needs?
Your reasons for investing in approval workflow software may change over time. For example, you might initially implement a solution to decrease artwork revisions and for its online proofing tools. Down the track, you might also want the solution that enables you to work with internal and external creative teams. It's important to select a system that can adapt and evolve with your changing needs.
6. What features does the marketing approval software have?
Not all software is equal - when selecting approval workflow software, it's important to ensure that the system has the features you need. For example, it might be great that it has online proofing tools and tiered approvals, but does it have automated reminders to eliminate tedious administration? Can you bulk upload content for review and provide feedback on a batch of like content so that all changes are sent to the designer at once? Does it have a digital asset library to save final files? Understanding your requirements and checking that the software can deliver these features ensures you're getting the most value for your investment.
7. Does the solution support marketing compliance requirements?
Marketing compliance requirements can vary depending on the industry, region, and company policies. It's crucial to ensure that the marketing approval software you select supports compliance requirements to avoid any legal or reputational issues. Does the system have built-in compliance features such as document retention policies or audit trails? Can it accommodate approval workflows that include compliance checks and balances? Make sure to consider your specific compliance needs and ensure that the solution you choose can meet them.
8. Can the system be accessed remotely?
With the rise of remote work, it's important to consider if the marketing approval software can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. Having remote access enables team members to provide feedback and approvals efficiently, regardless of their location or work schedule. It's crucial to ensure that the software you choose allows for remote access to maximize productivity and collaboration within your team.
9. How much does the system cost?
Cost is always an important consideration when selecting marketing approval software. You need to ensure that the cost of the system fits within your budget and delivers the necessary ROI. Be sure to consider all the costs associated with the system, including setup fees, ongoing subscription costs, and any additional costs for customization, training, or support.
10. What level of customer support is available?
The level of customer support offered by the software vendor is critical. Will they provide training to get your team up to speed on the software's functionality? What is their customer service policy, and what support channels are available? It's important to select a vendor that is responsive, helpful, and provides the level of support you need to ensure your team is productive and successful with the software.
In conclusion, marketing approval software is a valuable tool for modern marketing teams. By utilizing this software, teams can achieve greater transparency over their marketing workflow, leading to more efficient and effective marketing campaigns. When selecting marketing approval software, there are many important factors to consider, including objectives, configurability, file management, ease of use, scalability, features, remote access, cost, customer support, and vendor track record. By carefully considering these factors and selecting the right software for your team's unique needs, you can help ensure your team's success and achieve your marketing objectives.